Thursday, April 30, 2009

Spinach and Eggplant Salad

This unique salad features majestic colorful veggies all dressed up in a bit of tang.


1 eggplant, cut vertically into ¼ inch slices (about 8 rounds)
2.5 ounces spinach, about 5 lightly packed cups
½ cup shredded carrots
1 cup chopped cucumber (about 1/2 large cucumber)
1 teaspoon of sesame oil


Slice the eggplant into 8 rounds then cup the rounds in half to make 16 wedges. Add to oil to a large pan and cook the eggplant on high heat, warming the sliced rounds about 7-10 minutes on each side, until browned. (Another option is to omit the oil and grill it on the barbeque or a nonstick pan.) Meanwhile mix the spinach, shredded carrot and cucumbers in a large bowl. Once the eggplant is done, let cool for 5-10 minutes, pat dry any moisture and add it to the bowl with the salad. Toss well with the dressing (recipe listed below) and serve.



2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth (*use a gluten-free brand such as Progresso Natural if you are on a gluten-free diet)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons soy sauce (*use a gluten-free brand such as San-J if you are on a gluten-free diet)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or cilantro


Put all of the above listed ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until mixed well. Toss with the salad greens and serve, or refrigerate in an airtight container if it will not be used immediately

If you’re watching sodium use low sodium broth and soy sauce.

Add grilled chicken or tofu to this salad to make it a light meal.

Makes 7 cups, four servings

Serving size: 1 ¾ cup with dressing
Calories 100 Protein 2 g Carb 15 g Fiber 6 g Sugars 9 g Fat 5 g saturated fat <1 g Sodium 370mg

Serving size: 1 ¾ cup without dressing
Calories 50 Protein 2 g Carb 10 g Fiber 5 g Sugars 4 g Fat 1.5 g saturated fat 0 g Sodium 30 mg


Sunday, April 26, 2009

The BAD/BETTER/BEST of Foods Challenge Post # 4


BAD(ish) – Flour Tortillas

These tortillas are often made with the fats we should avoid, like lard (a saturated fat linked to promoting heart disease) or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fats which are man-made and behave similar to saturated fats in the body). Some contain as many as 3 to 8 grams fat per serving. Nowadays there are some brands that are lower fat and made without lard and trans fats, but flour tortillas come from refined, white flour which is devoid of whole grains and fiber- the majority have 0-2 grams per serving at most.

BETTER- Corn Tortillas and Wheat Tortillas

These have the goodness of whole grains, which contain all the essential parts of the entire grain seed-the bran, germ and the endosperm. In contrast to refined grains that are processed and “broken down,” leaving the whole grain intact means more fiber, protein, minerals (like magnesium, and selenium), as well as the vitamins E, B6 and niacin. If it is calories you are looking to cut, try corn tortillas instead. A standard 6 inch tortilla contains 30 -50 % less calories than the average flour tortilla. Look for ones made with whole grains, and that have at least 3 grams of fiber, as some contain less. And try them in my Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas recipe. If you can afford a few more calories and it is fiber and protein you are looking for, choose whole wheat tortilla. As long as you pick one made with real whole grains, you are bound to see at least 3 and as much as 5 grams of fiber per tortilla, and twice the amount of protein that is in a corn tortilla. Most whole wheat tortillas have at least 4 grams of protein if not more.

BEST-High Fiber Low Carb/Calorie Tortillas-

Try these if you want the most bang for your buck when it comes to the most protein and fiber for the lowest amount of calories and fat. Most contain only 60- 100 calories and are with made whole grains so they are loaded with fiber containing as much as 6 -14 grams per serving. They come packed with protein as well, ranging from 4-8 grams per tortilla, depending on the brand. These also have the goodness of whole grains discussed above- meaning plenty of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals that provide energy and help protect against chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Not to mention these are great for weight control because the calories are low but the fiber helps to fill you up. Use them in place of bread, to cut calories in sandwiches/wraps and for thin crust mini pizzas. Fill them with scrambled egg whites/egg substitute and low fat cheese and salsa for a healthy breakfast burrito or try my Presto Pizza Quesadilla and Morning Breakfast Wrap recipes!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

EXTRA, all about it!

My blog was featured in the Chicago Tribune paper today- I had the opportunity to be interviewed for a cool little article on nutrition blogs, along with a bunch of other dietitians.

Click HERE to check it out!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Piña Colada Smoothie

Take a sip of this and be swept away to the Tropics minus the price of a plane ticket! Packed with protein and carbs, this is a great way to start the morning.


1 frozen banana
1/3 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup pineapple
1/2 cup non fat Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 ice cubes


Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed for a minute until a smooth consistency is reached.

Makes one serving

Serving size: 1 smoothie Calories 260 Protein 12 Carb 45g Sugar 36 Fiber 4 g Fat 5 g Saturated fat 4 g Sodium 78 mg


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dijon Turkey Cutlets

This is an elegant way to jazz up turkey. Pair with brown rice or whole wheat pasta for a great healthy meal.

16 ounces turkey breast cutlets (about 5-6 pieces)
1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth (*use a gluten-free brand such as Progresso Natural if you are on a gluten-free diet)
1 cup chopped white onion
3 cups sliced mushrooms (one 8 ounce package)
4 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard *use a gluten-free brand such as Trader Joe's if you are on a gluten-free diet
1 teaspoon crushed garlic or 2-3 cloves, diced
1 tablespoon white wine
ICB spray or olive oil using olive oil sprayer (if both n/a use a teaspoon of olive oil)

Spray a large pan/skillet with ICB or olive oil sprayer, (or drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil). Turn on medium heat, add turkey cutlets and brown for a bit, about 3-5 minutes on each side, the remove from the pan and set aside. Add the garlic, onions and mushrooms and 1 tablespoon of broth to the pan and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until tender. Return the cutlets to the pan, add the rest of the broth, stir in Dijon mustard and wine and simmer for 10 -15 minutes on low heat until turkey is tender


Don’t like or have any turkey on hand? Chicken breasts work well instead.

Make 5 -6 servings,
Serving size: 1 cutlet with sauce Calories 150 Protein 27 g Carb 8 g Fiber 1 g Sugars 2 g Fat 2 g saturated fat 0 g Sodium 540 mg


Friday, April 10, 2009

Low fat Whole Grain Banana Bread….that tastes good!

This banana bread has very little added fat and the goodness of whole grain, higher fiber wheat flour, yet it manages to come out very moist and sweet. Cut a piece fresh out of the oven or serve warmed by toasting.


1 + 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or regular whole wheat flour will do too)
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
5 ounces light coconut milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 c egg substitute (such as Egg Beaters®)
2 large very ripe bananas, mashed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, measure flour, baking powder and baking soda and mix well. In a larger bowl mix the sugar, egg substitute, coconut milk and banana. Gradually add the flour until it is mixed in completely and the batter is a smooth consistency. Pour into a loaf a sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 50-60 minute or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 1 loaf (12 servings)

Serving size: 1 slice (1/12th of loaf) Calories 114 Protein 2.4 g Carbs 25g Fiber 3 g Sugars 13 g Fat 1g saturated fat <1g sodium 7 mg

Variation: Peanut butter banana bread,
Replace the coconut milk with ½ cup crunchy peanut butter

Makes 1 loaf (12 servings)

Serving size: 1 slice (1/12th of loaf) Calories 161 Protein 4.5g Carbs 27g Fiber 3 g Sugars 14 g Fat 5 g saturated fat <1 g Sodium 111 mg


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Baked Apples

Like apple pie? Try these instead for a warm, hearty treat that’s much lower in fat and calories.

4 large apples-rome, fuji, gala all work well
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons light maple syrup
2 tablespoons chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
2 tablespoons cranberries or raisins
1 teaspoon plus 2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon light margarine (*use a gluten-free brand such as I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOT BUTTER if you are on a gluten-free diet

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Core though the middle of the apples, stopping short of going thorough the bottom (leaving about ½ inch). Place them in a shallow 2 quart baking dish. In a small bowl mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together, whisk in the maple syrup, and the tablespoon water and stir in the nuts and dried fruit. Spoon the mixture into the apples, divide the teaspoon of margarine between the four (putting a dollup on each), add the 2/3 cup water to the bottom of the dish and cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake for about 40 minutes or until apples are soft when pierced with a fork or toothpick

Makes 4 baked apples, four servings

Serving size: 1 baked apple
Calories 178 Protein 2 g Carb 40 g Fiber 6 g Sugars 28 g Fat 3 g saturated fat <1 g Sodium 31 mg


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Presto Pizza Quesadilla

This recipe puts a twist on the quesadilla concept, is very low in calories and is ready in a flash.

1 whole wheat tortilla (lower carb, high fiber variety recommended)
1/4 cup marinara sauce
2 tablespoons low fat mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1-2 teaspoons chopped black olives

Lay the tortilla on a clean flat surface. Spread one side with the marinara sauce and sprinkle that same side with the remaining three ingredients. Microwave on high for 45 seconds-1 minute or heat in a small non-stick pan on medium heat for a few minutes on each side.

Variation: If you are watching sodium use low sodium tomato sauce and omit the olives.

Makes 1 serving

Serving size 1 quesadilla: Calories 135 Protein 11 g Carb 16 g Sugar 1 g Fiber 8 g Fat 7 g Saturated fat 2 g Sodium 715 mg


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